Hypercubes and Other Impossible Polyhedra

11 March 2017

Betha’s Journey – Farewell, Shorty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lise Mendel @ 12:33

This morning I dreemed about cleaning blood off my staff.  No matter how carefully I rubbed I just couldant get it out of the carvings.  I do not think this was a message from Chauntua.  I think it’s just fiten those darn wolves at night.  And the carvings are afully fussy.

We are heading for the cave soon.  Hopefully we can bring Rocksinger and Hirdar out alive.


We have lost Al to a bug bear.

Poor litel guy was a brave soul and a terror in batel.  His magic was strange, but it surely packed a punch and he dropped goblins rite and left.  But when Hallis called on her rocky god it made such a Holy Clamor it brot down the bug bear with even more goblins and we were all nearly done for.  I just kept praying to Chantua to heal and heal, and laying on with my staff, and it was a merakel we only lost one of us.

But the rest of us live, and Sirdar lives as well.  Gundran Rockseeker may me alive, still, as he was carryd off to some castel by the orders of some Black Spider.  With him is a map to the Echo Cave, wich is supposed to be the place of the Forge of Spells.

I wonder if this is wy Chantua sends the dreems.  It sounds much bigger than me, but not to big for the Goddess.



5 February 2017

Betha’s Journey part 1

Filed under: PC Writings,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 1:33

Attribution and discussion follows post.

I am Betha Brightwood.  I come from a wee scrap of a town nobody has ever herd of in the hills just before the arse end of the Spine of the World, and I wont be boring you with the details.

The important thing is that Chauntua has called me to her service through dreems and merakels.  Chauntutrua is the Goddess of plantings and harvest but I am a Shepherdess and She has been sending me dreems since I was just a littel girl. The priestess Cefrey sent me to Neverwinter to lern how to serve Her the rite way.

I am done with training and lessons now. I have onle a littel idea what the dreems are about But I will keep lissening to the Goddess. I no I will under stand in time. I am going to try to rite them up so I can remember them better.

Hi Priestess Banfili, ho runs the Tempel in Neverwinter, said I should take a job as a caravan gard to Filandran, so I sined on. I think evry one in the inn took the job because the dwarf was throwing around ten gold a gard. That’s a lot of gold, the caravan must be very valubel.

First day of the trip –

Still the same dreem I have been having for the last week. Flashes of crumbling stone and twisted plants that melt away before the morning doo does. I will rite more tonite about the journey.

* * *

I was right about the hole inn taking the job. Even the ogerork from the inn took the job as well. I thought about backing out, but I know that Banfili said the Goddess wants me to go, so I just grit my teeth and don’t turn my back on his ugly face. Alex the singing elf came along too, so there is a pretty face to make up for the ugly one. So did the little guy from the inn. He seems skinny to be a halfling, but to tall to be a gnome. He does some sort of magic but Lambie seems to like him. His name is Al but theres all ready an Alex so I just call him Shorty.  Theres also the elf Callie who is a great cook. Hallis who says she’s doing research in dwarf temples only I dont think theres any dwarf Temples in Neverwinter. Garen who is very quiet.  He says he is a tinker but I dont no wie a tinker wood be a caravan gard.  Then again I dont know wie a Cleric of Chauntua wood be won nither but heer I am.

The dwarf Rockseeker must be crazy. There are more than half dozen of us, and the caravan is two wagons of food and mining tool.  He must have promised us all his profits. Still, gold is gold. Alex (the pretty elf singer) thinks that the dwarfs don’t expect to have to pay all of us. I don’t think we’re likely to lose to many of the group.

More dreem flashes.  I think there wur Wings beating? Black feathers and twisted vines. I know the Goddess is trying to warn me but I don’t know about what. It is no better nor worse than it was at the temple so I cant even be sure I am going in the rite direction.

* * *

Another day of walking. Still on the main road so not really feeling like I’m earning my pay yet. So far I just keep an eye on Ugly half the time and Alex the rest.  Callie is a Druid and so her worship is like a sidewize mirror of mine.  Her Goddess wards life in Nature just as Chauntua wards life that is sown and harvested (or herded, like my people do).  She has not had a lot of Tempel teaching either so it is just the to of us tallking about what we think our Goddesses want from us.  We have good tallks and it passes the time as much as looking at the pretty boy elf does.

It is hard to get up erly and rite when we start are walking first thing. Mayhap I cud get up afore evry one else but I also want to get a full nite of sleep. I think I had another dreem last night but it was gone with the don.

Now I think we are urning our Gold. We got ambushed by goblins. We got bashed up a bit, but did a lot more bashing back. I ended up calling on the Goddess to keep Ugly from bleeding out. Goddess grant me strength and mercy, because for a moment I really didn’t want to, but ogerork or not he is a member of the band and he has not turned on any of us yet so it is my place to ward him and not to smite him. I did find it hard though.

We found signs of two riders who the goblins dragged off before they ambushed us. Alex thinks they may be Gunder Rockseeker and Sildar Hailwinter, who we were to meet in Filandran to get payed. Half the party followed the trail while the other half caught there breath and cleared the path from the ambush. I found out too things – Garen may be quiet but he has sharp eyes and a kwick wit and Hallis can call upon Moriden when needed – which is why I am not lame in my right foot despite my best efforts on that score.

In the morrow the hole party will go back to the goblin cave and see if we can rescue any survivors from the first ambush.

The spinning woman comes from Mackenzie via Flickr, and the Pyrenean Shepherd from Ellen Levy Finch via Wikimedia Commons.   The composite image is mine (Lise Mendel), released by a Creative Commons, Attribution, Share Alike license.  While the woman in the picture is spinning flax, and Betha spins wool, it’s close enough for illustration purposes.


18 September 2011

Nightmare Storm

Filed under: Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 1:22
Tags: ,

Dark Monster on the Prairies

As the day progressed, the strange clouds continued to approach from the Southwest, though the prevailing winds came from the East right up until the moment when the storm hit.  The rains began just when the sun set.

John retired with Rosie and her family, and Sydney, as arranged, spent the night with the Jurgens.  The rest of the film crew (minus Priscilla) and Gian, Emilia and Trent went to the Inn.  Trent looked over the situation, and set up a simple barricade at the top of the stairs, then took Randy and Jason and volunteered to help the town watch patrol, and communicate via walkie-talkie.  As the watch was short three men (the injured Fred Martin and two other sensitive members) they were grateful for the help.

The evening started off as uneventful.  The Basques rowdies were steadfastly drinking themselves into a stupor at the bar (though the troublemaker, Tom, was not seen), and the streets were empty.  After several hours the first alarm was sounded, Randy, Jason, and Randolph Barber (the head of the watch) encountered a woman in a nightshirt racing through the street, claiming her husband was trying to kill her.  She was calmed and the man subdued.

Trent spotted a form jumping from a second floor window, and quickly chased down a half grown boy with a sprained ankle.  The teenager was quickly subdued, and Trent brought him back to the house he’d been seen leaving (apparently not his own).  Randy and Trent decided to check on Sydney and John.

Meanwhile, Sydney heard an altercation in her hosts bedroom, and found Mr. Jurgen, eyes glazed and apparently in a trancelike state, beating his wife.  She dissuaded him from this with a fireplace poker.

John was awoken from a deep sleep by Rosie seeking comfort in the dark.  Some instinct warned him that all was not well, and he narrowly avoided being skewered by a knife.  He managed to subdue her without any serious injuries to either of them, and was nonplussed to realize her children had seen some part of their altercation.

The pattern soon emerged.  Rather than affecting the children (as the last major nightmare storm had) this time it was lovers who were affected with murderous rage and fear.  By the time the evening was over there were half a dozen serious injuries, the most serious of which was a teenaged girl at the house where Trent had left the boy.  There were three townsfolk unaccounted for.

17 August 2011

Running Before the Storm

Filed under: Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 8:56

The Medici traveled Northward, and were informed that the previous attempt to outrun the Nightmare Storm must have crashed at a certain island, as seen by the sensitive who were being carried away.

Meanwhile, back in Madagascar, the film crew and Vincinzi’s party prepared for the storm itself.

4 July 2011

Running Before the Storm

Filed under: Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 9:19
Tags: ,

Run on 3 July 2011

The next morning, the RS Medici left Madagascar with nearly a score of children and a handful of parents.  By this time, Hassan had a copy of Captain Hawkin’s navigation charts and notes (something like the following) and was fairly confident of his ability to traverse the difficult seas.  He was also made to understand that, with the Pod gone, there would be more of a risk of Albatroll (pteradon) attack.

The film crew (sans Priscilla) and Gian and co. stayed behind to make space available, after some waffling on Dr. Smiths part about whether it was preferable to weather the storm or be on a boat surrounded by small children.   The wounded Fred Martin, his wife, and their daughter were among the passengers.  Priscilla had convinced Robert (her admirer from First Impressions) to come along.  He was reluctant because he felt that the townsfolk all hated him.  Once aboard the ship, the parents who came along shared with her the gossip about him, which only increase her sympathy for the awkward young man. Other than that, the first day’s sailing was marred by nothing worse than signs of rodents in the food stores, and Birdie set out traps.

Meanwhile, the townsfolk which stayed behind on Madagascar seemed more concerned with who would pay Dr. Smythe’s tab (one season of Martin’s pay) than with the storm.  There was a long and rather dry council meeting, open to the town (many of whom came to watch), which looked very much like a set -up to make the herdsman Donel Allen pay the bulk of the bill.

Randy was outraged at the injustice, and the way the council seemed to conspire to perpetrate it.  He interrupted Dr. Smith’s tea with the widows (Julia Brown and Sarah North) to try to convince him to speak up.  Dr. Smith took heed of widow Brown’s opinion of Mr. Allen, and declined.

Gian, who was also watching the Council meeting, bided his time and began to come up with a strategy which would serve justice and increase his own influence at the same time.

John Morgan spent a more profitable day at the tavern with the Basques, gambling rubber bands (a real curiosity) for Nip coins.  The dice game got occasional updates on the state of the Council meeting, and his gaming buddies got more drunk and more ominous as the news came in.

The day ended without the Council coming to a decision, and a dark cloud forming to the Southwest (although the winds continued to come from the East).  Sydney had dinner with Brand Martin (Fred Martin’s half brother, also sensitive to the Nightmare Storms, who had donated blood for the surgery) and his family, finding out more about what the storms were like and what the dangers were.

By the time the sun went down the gamers were in a truly foul mood, and muttering darkly about the town council having it in for the Allen family, and having robbed their mother’s grave.  They staggered off shortly before Randy, still outraged by the injustice of it all, came into the tavern to see if younger and prettier Basque women than Rosie could be had.  Instead, he heard the story of the drunks running off (led by Rosie’s brother Tom) and he was recruited by that woman to stop them.  He, John, Rosie, and a couple of somewhat more sober Basque men went off to cool things down.  There was a brief brawl before the Council building, which ended with Randy shooting into the air and pointing out that the Watch would come soon, which scattered most of the drunks.  John Morgan subdued the one remaining one (Rosie’s brother Tom, of course) and carried him off to his sister’s place while Randy stayed behind to explain to the watch that he had been shooting at rats.

Randy went off to spend the night at the Inn, while Morgan took advantage of Rosie’s hospitality and gratitude.  The two of them spoke of her mother, of magic, and of John’s belief that her world had been somehow constructed artificially.

30 June 2011

The Gathering Storm

Filed under: Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 1:08

Run on 26 June 2011

While the emu hunt was going on, the merfolk finally arrived in Madagascar, bringing news of a Nightmare Storm coming from the Southwest, due to hit in a day or two.  Anemone explained to Birdie that this meant the pod,  would migrate, and that further sea travel would be much more risky.  It also meant that many of Madagascar’s fishermen and sailors would be leaving for some time.

Questioning of townsfolk brought out some little information about the storm.  They happened every few years, and only those with sensitive minds were affected.  They would have nightmares of death.  In a ‘bad one’ they would not be able to tell waking reality from the nightmare, and sometimes they acted out.  Most of the villagers were more worried about their children than themselves.

Gian thought it would be a good idea to offer the ship as a way to harbor the more sensitive children.  He discussed the idea with Captain Margarite, who needed some idea to consider.   He also discussed it with several townsfolk, including Captain Hawkins, who said that it had been tried before, and the ship had been caught at sea during the nightmares, and that it had not ended well.  He also admitted that the Medici was far faster than his own ship.

Also that day, Randolph Barber, the Captain of the Watch, took Gian to see Mrs. King, the town’s only merchant, and issuer of chits.  There was a complicated exchange of notes (one ‘season’ from Dr. Smythe to Fred Martin, a ‘season’ from the town watch to Dr. Smythe, and some complication about where that ‘season’ should come from, Donal Allen, the owner of the rabbit farm which was attacked, not admitting that it was in any way his fault that Martin got injured).

Also during that day, the Widow Brown invited Dr. Smith to join her for tea. They discussed her late husband’s library and natural sciences with two young friends of Mrs. Brown’s.  Sarah Harper, a young widow, was completely charmed by Dr. Smith’s company.  Victoria Iwonson noticibly less so.

Before the sun had set, Gian had publicly made his offer of a trip far to sea for some of those most at risk of the nightmare storm, confident that the Captain would respect the fact that he had chartered the boat.  He asked the film crew to stay ashore for the duration.

That evening, the film crew drank and gambled and shared stories at the local pub, and picked up some interesting rumors and folklore.

17 June 2011

Emu Hunt

Filed under: Images,Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 6:28

Run on 12 June, 2011

The next morning started early for most of the passengers and crew of the RSS Medici.  Although it had been a late night, the longer hours of darkness meant that almost everyone was up by dawn.  In fact, Captain Margrite had to usher his autistic son, Raphael, away from swabbing the pier and being mocked by some local urchins.   Still, between breakfast and discussion of how to handle themselves at the market, and what they had collectively to trade, they did not actually visit the market for some few hours after sunrise.

Birdie and Dr. Smythe had set out to investigate the market for provisions.  Sydney was looking for cultural cues.  Sydney, who was browsing, chatted without too much enthusiasm with the young man she’d danced with the night before (the same man who offered to get Dr. Smythe some mushrooms). Randy wanted picturesque and exotic goods to photograph.  Count Visconti wanted to sell some jewels for local currency.  They all set out to examine the market.  Meanwhile, Jason went in search of a swimmable beach, and Dr. Smith decided to look for exotic fauna.

Jason wandered a bit, and was told that a swimming beach was on the East side of town.  A little travel showed him that the side of the settlement across the river was deserted and foul smelling, and he decided not to look too far for his recreation.


Dr. Smith wandered out of the Western gate, and found himself at a rabbit farm.  He took some pictures of a gravid beast with his cell phone camera, and asked about buying the creature.  The herder offered to trade it for the cell phone.  Their haggling was interrupted by a signal (a pipe played in the middle distance, and the farmer mobilized.  Behind him, the guards in the town did as well.  Smith went to return to town, found many of his companions, armed, coming to  join in, and he changed his mind and accompanied them.  They followed the sound, and the guards, and found a swarm of strange, feathered creatures attacking the rabbits.

Click on the image to read the Wikipedia article.   This image licensed by  Nobu Tamura, attribution, share alike.

There were a great many of the small, deadly creatures.  Most of them fled, but five were killed, and one seriously injured one of the guards, Fred Martin, before being brought down.  The courage, skill, and firepower of the newcomers made a tremendous difference in the battle, as did the speed and sureness with which the injured Mr. Martin was brought to Dr. Smythe, who operated on him on board the ship.  The town was then scoured to find matches for Fred’s blood type, which did not read clearly on the standard ABO test strips.  However, his half brother was willing to donate blood, and that and the saline in the ships stores was enough to make the emergency operation a true success.

28 May 2011

First Impressions

Filed under: Images,Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 9:11

Run on 22 May, 2011

After a few days sailing, the Medici  reached the town of Madagascar.  Captain Margrite allowed the pilot boat to lead them to the dock, and the small crowd at the helped the boat to dock.

They were hailed by John Hawkins,who identified himself as the captain of the Queen’s Legacy, and welcomed them to Madagascar.  Captain Hawkins explained that the whale pod had signaled them from the deep sea, and seemed somewhat disappointed when Gian explained that they were aware that whales could communicate across the ocean. He invited them to come and meet the town elders, which Captain Margrite acquiesced to, and invited his passengers to come along. Captain Hawkins (with Margrite’s persmission) presented a cask of ale to the crew of the Medici. Birdie sampled it and found it unusual (it was brewed from rice) but palatable, and requested that he meet with the brewer. The party split in three, with most of the crew, and John Morgan, staying aboard the ship. The Captain, the Duke and his retinue, and Dr. Smith went to meet the village elders, and Birdie, Randy, Jason and Priscilla went to meet the brewers and discuss provisioning the ship.

The trip to visit the elders was enlightening, in it’s own way, but the most exciting part of it by far was when Dr. Smith spotted a “Madagascar Donkey”:

Click to view Wikipedia entry. By Conty (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The elders were just exactly that, elders, the youngest of them was in his mid seventies, the oldest must have been pushing ninety, and a bit on the dotty side.  They wanted to be filled in on world history since the Madagascar had last sailed the seas of Earth.  Gian did his best to gently inform them that it had been over a hundred and fifty years, not the fifty they had experienced there.  Mrs. Brown (widow of the Reverend Brown, the islands only clergyman) made some rather smug comments to her comrades at this, apparently they had encountered some previous refugees, some few years after they founded the ‘town’, who had left Earth eighteen years after them.  Comparing notes, all three ships seemed to have fallen afoul of a whirlpool off the straits of Gibraltar.

The Widow Brown seemed to take quite an interest in Dr. Smith, as a man of learning.  The Elders as a whole were eager to hear about the state of the Earth in the years since they left it.  Duke Visconti obliged them by summarizing world  history since the middle of the Victorian era, with major abridgements around the subject of the World Wars, and little mention of technological advances.

Meanwhile, Birdie and most of the film crew followed Bryce Jones to the Inn.  There they met Kombu, the emissary of the Sea Folk, and his wife, Grace Redmond.  They discussed matters relating to provisioning the ship, and Kombu explained that there was a difficulty with the Queens Legacy (the only full out ship still functional in Madagascar) related to the quality of the rope.  They discussed the possibility of the RS Medici obtaining good quality hemp seed for the town.  Birdie suggested that he might have a source for high quality hemp seed.

Madagascar Rabbit - based on work by NobuTamura email:nobu.tamura@yahoo.com palaeocritti (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

They got a tour of the town. There were a great many fishermen about, and Bryce explained that many of them were actually sailors, out of work due to Captain Hawkins reducing the number of trips the Queen’s Legacy took. Throughout the tour, Bryce spoke of Hawkins as being the Captain, though Kombu had implied that the Legacy was his ship. They also got to visit the Donkey stables, and see the Rabbits.
(A good sized rabbit weighs about fifty pounds, about the size of a keeshond or small collie.)

The two groups reunited that evening for a feast (mostly fish and rabbit, some unfamiliar green vegetables with some berries and root vegetables thrown in).  There was a great deal of dancing, from various traditions.  Sydney spent much of the evening observing the way the various cultures (English predominant, but there were substantial peoples of Asian origin, who blended in well, and Basque, who did not), and explained to her shipmates that they way they behaved at this party was likely to matter.  First impressions would be irrevocable.  Randy got himself quickly and thoroughly drunk.  Priscella danced like a madwoman, and created some tension between Randy and Jason, then made a new friend.  Birdie spent the evening sharing liquor from the Medici and dancing.  Hassan managed to get on the bad side of a belligerant drunk, but Gian intervened diplomatically.

All in all, a pleasant evening was had by all.

7 April 2011

A Pearl of Great Price

Filed under: Images,Lost Worlds,Run Logs — Lise Mendel @ 10:12
Tags: ,

Run on 2 April 2011

As the crew began to ready the submersible for use, one of the mermaids approached the ship, accompanied by a dolphin. Randy hailed her as she approached. She responded with a cheerful greeting which sounded like “Konichi”, so he attempted to speak to her in Japanese. She responded in a pidgin-Japanese, and they exchanged awkward greetings. Birdie, who also spoke the language, asked her what she liked to eat, and she requested permission to come aboard.

Birdie and Randy simultaneously acquiesced, and told the rest of the company that she was coming on the ship. There was a brief and concerned conversation under which the Captain made it clear that he, and only he, had the authority to invite someone on his ship, but did not actively try to countermand the previously given invitation. The passengers helped the mermaid aboard as the crew kept a cautious watch.

Once she had been levered to the swim deck, the mermaid unfurled her ‘tail’, a membrane which wrapped around two shapely, and very human looking, legs. She introduced herself as “Anemone”, and then began an awkward conversation with Randy and Birdie. After a while she heard the rest of the film crew speaking in English, and switched to an equally awkward version of that language.

Anemone tried to answer the questions she was asked, but was somewhat limited by language and conceptual barriers. Even so, she conveyed that there were two friendly cultures within a few days travel, Nipu (which spoke the Japanese variant) and Madagascar, which was populated by “Ausies” and spoke English. She tried to explain where they were, and got into an intense but confusing conversation with Hassan about relative locations. He went to speak to the Captain, and the film crew continued to speak to Anemone. Birdie prepared her a meal of sushi, and Gian provided a diamond necklace to present to her on behalf of the ship and crew. Sydney asked her more about where Madagascar was, and Anemone said that the pod would be glad to lead them there. Sydney went off to clear things up with Hassan, but he did not react well to the implication that he could not navigate there on his own. Anemone went off to rejoin the pod. As the ship went underway Birdie and Anemone continued to signal to each other.

The next day Anemone returned with two mermen, Shab-at’babaak and Bob, carrying a fresh tuna and a fist sized pearl, which they presented to “the ship and the crew”. The three merfolk spent the day aboard, getting to know the people of the RS Medicci, and guide them to the Madagascar (named after a ship which crashed some years ago). The trip was otherwise uneventful, except for the sighting of a strange flying creature at a distance. Jason was able to get some good shots of it, and managed to digitally enhance the image. As worrisome as the creature was, they had no close encounters. According to Anemone, the flyers stay away from the whale pod.

The image in this picture is based on a work with a Creative Commons, Attribution, non-commercial Share-alike license by Mark Witton

29 March 2011

What Have I Done…?

Filed under: Web Games — Lise Mendel @ 7:20

I’ve joined a Yahoo! Sports fantasy baseball league. This would be all very well and good, except that I know nothing about baseball (except for placing the correct emphasis on that particular stanza of the national anthem). DH has started a national league, and they needed a fifth to round it out. So I’m sort of standing in, holding the place open until they find the next player. In the mean time, I’m reading over stats and trying to come up with a draft list. Yeesh…

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